John Cartwright's revelation about Ricky Stuart amid big call on next NSW coach

Broncos assistant coach told to throw his hat in the ring for vacant NSW Blues coaching job.

Ricky Stuart encouraged John Cartwright to put his hand up for vacant NSW coach role. Image: Getty
John Cartwright's reveals Ricky Stuart encouraged him to put his hand up for vacant NSW coach role. Image: Getty

Broncos assistant coach John Cartwright revealed he put his hand up for the vacant NSW Blues role after a conversation with Ricky Stuart. Brad Fittler stepped down from the position last month despite being offered a one-year extension leaving the Blues without a coach for the 2024 State of Origin series.

The Raiders boss was touted as a potential replacement for Fittler but ruled himself out so he could put 100 per cent of his focus into the Raiders. Craig Bellamy, Ivan Cleary and Blues legend Paul McGregor have also had their names attached to the vacant role as has former coach Laurie Daley, who admitted last week that he'd be "happy to help" the Blues despite previously ruling out a return to the head coaching role.

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Cartwright told SEN that he was asking Stuart about his interest in the job when he was encouraged to give it a go himself. "When Freddy stood down, I was initially just talking to Ricky Stuart about it and where he stood,” Cartwright said.

“He was sort of thinking that it maybe would be something he would be interested in… Ricky’s an all-in or all-out type of guy, that’s what he said to me. He told me, 'I’m either all into it', which is going to affect his Raiders job, 'Or I'm out'," Cartwright said. "Then he said, ‘Would you consider doing it?’, and I said, 'I'd love to do it'.”

John Cartwright believes he is the right man for the vacant Blues job. Image: Getty
John Cartwright believes he is the right man for the vacant Blues job. Image: Getty

Cartwright put his name forward on October 5 and has spoken to NSWRL chief executive David Trodden about his interest in the role.“I just had a quick talk to Dave Trodden and I think now they just go through their process with the CEO and the board,” Cartwright said.

“It’s probably just a phone call, I don’t think there’s going to be an interview process. I think they’ll get all the candidates together; they know what everyone’s done and they’ll make a choice from there.”

John Cartwright believes he is the right man for the job

The Broncos assistant coach previously told The Daily Telegraph that his relationship with key Blues forward Payne Haas would help him get the best out of the team. Cartwright said the key to being a successful Origin coach is to know how to prepare the players for the game.

“You can’t doubt what Origin brings out in people,’’ Cartwright said. “Winning a premiership is the ultimate but Origin is something that is uniquely different and I believe you have to understand how big of a beast it is."

“I know I can bring something to the role. It’s not like coaching a club team. I think it’s a fair bit ­different. But I think coaches that are day-to-day on the job are ­really important. Knowing how the players expect to prepare, having someone that is experienced in doing that is really important.”

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